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LESSON PLAN - C

*It should be noted that my host teacher taught a lesson which introduced parabolas between my

Lesson Plan B and Lesson Plan C.

1. In the study of algebra, students will understand the behavior of parabolas and the relationship

between parabolas and the quadratic functions that give them their shape. Students will

demonstrate their understanding by solving problems that depend on the features of a parabola.

2. Maine Learning Results-- F. Measurement: derive and use the distance formula. NCTM-- Algebra

Standard, Grades 9-12: analyze functions of one variable by investigating rates of change, intercepts,

zeros, asymptotes, and local and global behavior. NCTM-- Problem Solving, Grades 9-12: solve

problems that arise in mathematics and other contexts. CBHS-- Algebra II, Standard 4: be familiar

with quadratic functions.

II. ASSESSMENT

1. Students will work in pairs on the first 3 problems of the parabola story worksheet (5 problems).

NN and I will circulate among students in order to clarify instructions and correct misconceptions.

Students will be evaluated for their ability to determine the product of two binomial expressions.

Upon completion, we will compare results as a class and discuss differences, if any.

2. Students will work in small groups on problems 4 and 5 of the parabola story worksheet (5

problems). These questions should create some nice crises. Regarding problem #4, NN and I will

advise groups. If a group solves this on their own, they will be invited to perform their solution on

the board and I will facilitate classwide conversation. Regarding problem #5, new instruction (finding

quadratic roots) will be required in order for the students to be able to move past this second

crisis.

III. MATERIALS

1. Student materials:

a. Parabola Story worksheet

Lewis 2

c. THINKBOX-- deriving the quadratic formula

2. Teacher materials

a. Draw parabola and x-y axes before class starts.

c. THINKBOX summary on sticky easel paper

IV. PROCEDURES

2. Groundwork [6 minutes]

iii) slice through a cone (conic sections studied since 200 BC)

v) curvature of a lens-- glasses; spin casting (telescope mirrors); eye (“If you can see me, you’re

working with parabolas.”)

c. Features of parabolas:

i) axis of symmetry

iii) illustrate parabolic structure, predictability, “well-organized” nature (briefly show focus,

directrix, equidistance)

Lewis 3

a. “I brought you a parabola today.” Modify parabola and axes (already on board); add roads,

water; erase surplus. Graphic represents a section through the ground showing a canal that has

been built near the prime meridian (the y-axis). The water level is represented by the x-axis.

James Bond is escaping tank-driving nemesis, reaches western edge of canal, unfolds clever,

rocket-powered spy skateboard, skates down western slope, surfs across the surface of the

water, skates up the eastern slope and land on the eastern edge of the canal.

ii) The vertical center line of the canal is located 6.5 meters east of the prime meridian.

iii) James Bond drops in when he is 8.5 meters west of the center line of the canal.

iv) James Bond ollies out when he is 6.5 meters east of the canal’s vertical center line

a. Hand out Parabola Story worksheet and read through Unknowns nos. 1, 2, 3.

b. “What does the unknown ask you? What should you ask the story?”

c. Students will work in pairs. NN and I will roam, check-in, guide, etc.

d. solutions:

c. First crisis. Solution to no. 4 requires the use of the Pythagorean theorem and the derivation of

the distance formula. This may be discovered wholly by students or in collaboration with NN

and myself, in which case that discovery should be performed on the board. Otherwise, or in

addition, some direct, classwide instruction/review will be needed.

Lewis 4

f. Second crisis. Solution to no. 5 requires finding the roots (zeros) of the

quadratic equation.

i) “How does the equation for this parabola (or any curve) locate points in the plane? What

do we know about the points of interest in this problem? What can the equation for this

parabola tell us about those points in the plane? What is the y-value for any point that’s

located on the x-axis?”

iv) Conversation: “What does this suggest? What are we looking for? Can this help us find it?”

8. Differentiation:

THINKBOX and TOOLBOX (see III. 1. b and c) are idea spaces intended to support students who

are interested in digging a little deeper into the concepts that drive the lesson plan or acquiring skills

for related, more complex procedures (THINKBOX), as well as students who need additional

support with, or even occasional review of, the more fundamental ideas and methods upon which

continued success in mathematics rests (TOOLBOX). TOOLBOX is also an instructional aid for the

development of procedural knowledge.

Other methods of differentiated instruction are: varied groupings (independently, pairs, groups),

alternative process formats (diagrams, symbolic language), the combination of concrete and abstract

content, and alternative manners of demonstration (private, public).

Day Four

P A R A B O L A S TO RY

Name: ________________________________

HOW _____ / 4

FACTS

2.) The center line of the canal is located 6.5 meters E of the

Prime Meridian.

line of the canal.

vertical axis.

UNKNOWN KNOWN

2.) How high above water level is James Bond when he drops in? 2.) ________________________

3.) How high above the water is James Bond when he ollies out? 3.) ________________________

4.) After Mr. Bond ollies out, how far away is he from his nemesis? 4.) ________________________

5.) Across what distance of water did 007 surf? 5.) ________________________

Day Four

TO O L B OX

The Pythagorean Theorem

REVIEW

The Pythagorean theorem is useful anytime we’re dealing with a right triangle. It describes the relationship

between the lengths of the two sides and the length of the hypotenuse. That relationship is expressed as

a2 + b2 = c2

where a and b are the sides of the right triangle and c is the hypotenuse. If we take the square root of each side of

the equation, we have √ c2 = √ (a2 + b2) , which is c = √ (a2 + b2) , as shown here:

The Pythagorean formula can be used to determine the distance between two points. Consider:

(x1, y2)

Now, a = (x2 – x1) and b = (y2 – y1) in terms of the two distances between these three points on the Cartesian

plane. If we substitute these expressions for distance into the original Pythagorean formula, we have:

Day Four

T H I N K B OX

The Quadratic Formula

You’ve been learning how to express quadratic trinomial equations as binomial factors, a form that allows

finding the zeros (roots) of that equation without too much grief, but only as long as we have that pair of

binomial factors. Then, y = 0 = (x + u) (x + v) for some values of u and v, and we can solve for {x1, x2}.

But not every quadratic equation can be factored by elementary means. For example, consider:

x2 + 12x + 6 = 0

Looks harmless. Can you factor it by the means you’ve learned? What does the logic table show? Which

two integer factors of 6 have a sum of 12?

Polynomials that can’t be factored by elementary means are called prime polynomials, and for those we

need another method of finding their roots. The roots of the expression above are:

x = {– 6 + √ 30, – 6 – √ 30}

Quadratic equations in the standard form ax2 + bx + c = 0 can be solved by using the quadratic

formula, which is written as:

x = [– b ±√ (b2 – 4ac)] ⁄ 2a

Use the quadratic formula to solve the following equations. A few things to consider about using this

formula:

1. x2 + 12x + 6 = 0 4. 2x2 + 7x +6 = 0

2. x2 + 8x = – 3 5. 2x2 = 47

3. x2 + 5x = – 1 + 2x 6. x2 + 6x + 12 = 0

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